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PostEU: Germany and Greece's Debt Crisis (Bienvenido Macario, Philippines/US) (John Eipper, USA, 03/08/10 5:36 am)
Bienvenido Macario writes: I am thinking the latest development in the EU-Greek debt crisis would be interesting to WAISers, especially so because it reminds me of Prof. Hilton's discussions around 2002 regarding Germany and the EU. Some excerpt from the two articles below: More and more there is the feeling that French farmers, Polish farmers, Spanish infrastructure, that Europe is not a community but something held together by a German paycheck. ************ Ms Merkel rejected any suggestion of providing financial support to Greece, if the government in Athens was unable to refinance its debt. "That is a question we do not have to face today, and I am optimistic it is not a question we are going to face in the future," she said. Merkel avoids Greece finance pledge By Quentin Peel in Berlin: March 6 2010 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ba6b3ffa-28be-11df-b86f-00144feabdc0.html Both leaders sharply rejected suggestions that had been aired in the German press, suggesting that Greece should sell some of its islands or national treasures to pay off its debt. ************* Germany Makes No Financial Pledge to Greece By Nicholas Kulish Published: March 5, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/06/world/europe/06germany.html?partner=rss&emc=rss We have not asked the German taxpayers to rescue us, to pay for our retirements and vacations, Mr. Papandreou said. We are not asking for money. What we need is the support of the EU and our European partners so that we can receive credit from the market at better terms. German news outlets have accused the Greeks of corruption, tax evasion and falsifying budget numbers to join the euro zone. Greek politicians have asked for reparations for damages inflicted by Nazi occupiers during World War II. Germany has the most fiscal flexibility among European Union members to help Greece, but public opposition to any assistance has been vehement. The debate has crystallized broader German misgivings about the European project into a public outcry. It's like a mosaic and the Greece crisis is the last stone, said Wolfgang Nowak, a former senior adviser to Mrs. Merkel's predecessor, Gerhard SchrÃ¶der, and head of Deutsche Bank's International Forum. More and more there is the feeling that French farmers, Polish farmers, Spanish infrastructure, that Europe is not a community but something held together by a German paycheck. JE comments: Who has been asking Greece to sell some islands or its national treasures? The last time I can recall something like this was done was in 1853, when US Ambassador James Gadsden purchased "La Mesilla" from Mexican President Santa Anna. The latter has been reviled ever since in Mexico as a "vendepatrias."